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Encyclopedia > Book of Nehemiah
Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, for details see Biblical canon
Jewish, Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox
Roman Catholic and Orthodox include but Protestants removed:
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Torah | Nevi'im | Ketuvim
Books of Ketuvim
Three Poetic Books
Psalms
Proverbs
Job
Five Scrolls
Song of Songs
Ruth
Lamentations
Ecclesiastes
Esther
Other Books
Daniel
Ezra-Nehemiah
Chronicles

The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanach and to Christians as the Old Testament. It is historically regarded as a continuation of the Book of Ezra. NOTE: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh, but not Old Testament, because it does not recognize the New Testament as a continuation or completion of the Jewish bible. ... 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum This article discusses usage of the term Hebrew Bible. For the article on the Hebrew Bible itself, see Tanakh. ... The Biblical canon is an exclusive list of books written during the formative period of the Jewish or Christian faiths; the leaders of these communities believed these books to be inspired by God or to express the authoritative history of the relationship between God and his people (although there may... Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... Look up Pentateuch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in both the Hebrew Tanakh and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... Book of Judges (Hebrew: Sefer Shoftim ספר שופטים) is a book of the Bible originally written in Hebrew. ... The Book of Ruth is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh/Hebrew Bible and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Shmuel ספר שמואל), are part of the Tanakh (part of Judaisms Hebrew Bible) and also of the Old Testament (of Christianity). ... The Books of Kings (Hebrew: Sefer Melachim ספר מלכים) is a part of Judaisms Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... Psalms (Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים) is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... The Song of Solomon or Song of Songs (Hebrew title שיר השירים, Shir ha-Shirim) is a book of the Hebrew Bible—Tanakh or Old Testament—one of the five megillot. ... The Book of Isaiah (Hebrew: Sefer Yshayah ספר ישעיה) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, written by Isaiah[1]. // Content The first 39 chapters of Isaiah consist primarily of prophecies of the judgments awaiting nations that are persecuting Judah. ... For jer, an alternate spelling for the reduced vowels in Common Slavic, see yer. ... The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew מגילת איכה) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Ezekiel. ... The Book of Daniel, written in Hebrew and Aramaic, is a book in both the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Christian Old Testament. ... A minor prophet is a book in Minor Prophets section of the Hebrew Bible also known to Christians as the Old Testament. ... Tobias and the Angel, by Filippino Lippi The Book of Tobit (or Book of Tobias in older Catholic Bibles) is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics by the... The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible, but excluded by Jews and Protestants. ... 1 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which was written by a Jewish (pre-Christian) author, probably about 100 BC, after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. ... 2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which focuses on the Jews revolt against Antiochus and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work. ... Wisdom, also known as the Wisdom of Solomon, is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible that are not translations of Hebrew originals. ... The Wisdom of Ben Sira, (or The Wisdom of Yeshua Ben Sira or merely Sirach), called Ecclesiasticus (not to be confused with Ecclesiastes) by Christians, is a book written circa 180–175 BCE. The author, Yeshua ben Sira, was a Jew who had been living in Jerusalem, who may in... The Book of Baruch is a deuterocanonical book, found in the Greek Bible (LXX) and in the Vulgate Bible, but not in the Hebrew Bible, although it was included in Theodotions version¹. Scholars propose that it was written during or shortly after the period of the Maccabees². Baruch is... Letter of Jeremiah is an Apocryphal book consisting of a letter ascribed to Jeremiah to the Jews in exile in Babylon warning them against idolatry by demonstrating its unreasonableness. ... For jer, an alternate spelling for the reduced vowels in Common Slavic, see yer. ... The additions to Daniel comprise of three additional chapters appended to the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel from the Greek Septuagint. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... By far the most important of the many synods held at Jerusalem (see Wetzer and Welte, Kirchenlexikon, 2nd ed. ... 1 Esdras is a deuterocanonical book accepted by most Orthodox Christians, but rejected as apocryphal by Jews, Catholics, and Protestants. ... 1. ... The Biblical book 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the deuterocanonical books. ... The book of 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over the passions. ... This short work of only 15 verses purports to be the penitential prayer of the Judean king Manasseh, who is recorded in the Bible as one of the most idolatrous (2 Kings 21:1-18). ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church is an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia that was part of the Coptic Church until it was granted its own Patriarch by Cyril VI, the Coptic Pope, in 1959. ... In the Septuagint and for Eastern Orthodox Christians, 2 Esdras refers to the combination of Ezra and Nehemiah. ... 1. ... The Book of Jubilees (ספר היובלים), sometimes called the Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient Jewish religious work. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Apostolic Church-Ordinances is a 3rd century pseudo-Apostolic collection of moral and hierarchical rules and instructions, compiled from early Christian sources. ... Syriac is an Eastern Aramaic language that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. ... The Peshitta is the standard version of the Bible in the Syriac language. ... These are additional Psalms found in the Septuagint and Peshitta and at Qumran: 11QPs(a)154,155. ... 2 Baruch or the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch is a Jewish pseudepigraphical text written in the late 1st century CE or early 2nd century CE, after the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 CE. It is not part of the canon of either the Jewish or most Christian... Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... Neviim [נביאים] or Prophets is the second of the three major sections in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). ... Ketuvim is the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). ... Ketuvim is the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). ... Psalms (Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים) is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... In the third major section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), which is called Ketuvim (The Writings), there are five relatively short biblical books that are grouped together and known collectively in the Jewish tradition as The Five Scrolls (Hebrew: Hamesh Megillot or Chamesh Megillos). ... The Song of Solomon or Song of Songs (Hebrew title שיר השירים, Shir ha-Shirim) is a book of the Hebrew Bible—Tanakh or Old Testament—one of the five megillot. ... The Book of Ruth is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh/Hebrew Bible and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew מגילת איכה) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Daniel, written in Hebrew and Aramaic, is a book in both the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Christian Old Testament. ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum This article discusses usage of the term Hebrew Bible. For the article on the Hebrew Bible itself, see Tanakh. ... 11th century Targum Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also spelt Tanach or Tenach) is an acronym for the three parts of the Hebrew Bible, based upon the initial Hebrew letters of each part: Torah [תורה] (The Law; also: Teaching or Instruction), Chumash [חומש] (The... NOTE: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh, but not Old Testament, because it does not recognize the New Testament as a continuation or completion of the Jewish bible. ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ...


Traditionally, the author of this book is believed to be Nehemiah himself; many modern scholars dispute this. There are portions of the book written in the first person (ch. 1-7; 12:27-47, and 13). But there are also portions of it in which Nehemiah is spoken of in the third person (ch. 8; 9; 10). Some, following the traditional attribution to Nehemiah, suppose that these portions may have been written by Ezra (of this, however, there is no distinct evidence), and had their place assigned them in the book probably by Nehemiah, as the responsible author of the whole book, with the exception of ch. 12:11, 22, 23. Other authors think that the historical order of events in both Ezra and Nehemiah has become jumbled, from which they conclude that at least the final arrangement and revision of their text must have occurred at a later period. Nehemiah or Nechemya (נְחֶמְיָה Comforted of/is the LORD (YHWH), Standard Hebrew Nəḥemya, Tiberian Hebrew Nəḥemyāh) was a person in the Bible, believed to be the primary author of the Book of Nehemiah. ... Ezra is a name derived from Hebrew, written variously as עֶזְרָא ( Standard Hebrew ), ʿEzra, ( Tiberian Hebrew ), ʿEzrâ: short for עַזְרִיאֵל My help/court is God, Standard Hebrew ʿAzriʾel, Tiberian Hebrew ʿAzrîʾēl, Arabic: عزير. // Summary The historical Ezra was a priestly scribe who is thought to have led about 5,000 Israelite...


If Nehemiah was the author, the date at which the book was written was probably about 431 - 430 BC, when Nehemiah had returned the second time to Jerusalem after his visit to Persia. Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC - 430s BC - 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC Years: 436 BC 435 BC 434 BC 433 BC 432 BC - 431 BC - 430 BC 429 BC... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC - 430s BC - 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC Years: 435 BC 434 BC 433 BC 432 BC 431 BC - 430 BC - 429 BC 428 BC... Jerusalem (Hebrew:  , Yerushaláyim or Yerushalaim; Christian Arabic: أورشليم Urushalim, Muslim Arabic:  , al-Quds (the Holy), pronounced il-uds in Jerusalem dialect; official Arabic in Israel: أورشليم القدس, Urshalim-al-Quds Jerusalem the Holy) is the capital and largest city of the State of Israel, and parts, if not all, of the city... Motto: Persian: Esteqlāl, āzādÄ«, jomhÅ«rÄ«-ye eslāmÄ« (English: Independence, freedom, (the) Islamic Republic)[citation needed] Anthem: SorÅ«d-e MellÄ«-e Īrān Capital Tehran Largest city Tehran Official language(s) Persian (Farsi) Government Islamic Republic  - Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei  - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Revolution Overthrew Monarchy...


The book consists of four parts:

  1. An account of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, and of the register Nehemiah had found of those who had returned from Babylon (ch. 1-7).
  2. An account of the state of religion among the Jews during this time (8-10).
  3. Increase of the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the census of the adult male population, and names of the chiefs, together with lists of priests and Levites (11-12:1-26).
  4. Dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the arrangement of the temple officers, and the reforms carried out by Nehemiah (12:27-ch. 13).

This book closes the history of the Old Testament, if Esther is considered unhistorical. Malachi the prophet was possibly contemporary with Nehemiah (although scholars debate whether Malachi actually existed - many think that the Book of Malachi was accidentally detached from the preceeding book, and named from its first words ...messenger...). , Babylon is the Greek variant of Akkadian Babilu (bāb-ilû, meaning Gateway of ... In the Jewish tradition, a Levite (לוי Attached, Standard Hebrew Levi, Tiberian Hebrew Lēwî) is a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi. ... Drawing of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the time of Herod the Great A stone (2. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... Malachi or Malachi (מַלְאָכִי My messenger/angel, Standard Hebrew Malʾaḫi, Tiberian Hebrew Malʾāḵî) was a prophet in the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ...


A work ascribed to Nehemiah, but bearing in some canons the title Esdras II. or Esdras III., having been attributed to Ezra on the ground that Nehemiah's self-assertion deserved some punishment (Sanh. 93b), or because, having ordinarily been written on the same scroll with the Book of Ezra, it came to be regarded as an appendix to it. The book consists ostensibly (i. 1) of the memoirs of Nehemiah, compiled, or at any rate completed, toward the close of his life, since he alludes to a second visit to Jerusalem "at the end of days" (xiii. 6, A. V. margin), which must mean a long time after the first. In xiii. 28 he speaks of a grandson (comp. xii. 10, 11) of the high priest Eliashib as being of mature years; whence it appears that the latest event mentioned in the book, the high-priesthood of Jaddua, contemporary of Alexander the Great (xii. 11, 22), may have fallen within Nehemiah's time. The redaction of his memoirs occurred probably later than 360 B.C., but how much later can not easily be determined. The first person is employed in ch. i.-vii. 5, xii. 31-42, xiii. 6 et seq. Sometimes, however, Nehemiah prefers to speak in the name of the community (ii. 19, iii. 33-38, x.), and in some places he himself is spoken of in the third person, either with the title "tirshatha" (viii. 9, x. 2) or "peḥah" (xii. 26, claimed by him in v. 14; A. V. "governor"), or without title (xii. 47). The style of these last passages implies somewhat that Nehemiah is not the writer, especially that of the third and fourth: "in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra"; "in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah." The portions of the book in which the first person is used are marked by repeated prayers for recognition of the author's services, and imprecations on his enemies (iii. 36, 67; v. 19; vi. 13; xiii. 14, 22, 29, 31), which may be taken as characteristic of an individual's style; and indeed the identity of the traits of character which are manifested by the writer of the opening and closing chapters can not escape notice. Moreover, the author's enemies, Sanballat and Tobiah, figure in both parts.


This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain. The Jewish Encyclopedia was an encyclopedia originally published between 1901 and 1906 by Funk and Wagnalls. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

Contents

[edit]

Insertions

The unity of the book is marred by the insertion of a variety of documents, chiefly lists of names. These are the following:


(1)


Ch. iii. 1-32, a list of persons who helped to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This document agrees with ch. xii. in exhibiting remarkable acquaintance with the topography of Jerusalem; and it also gives some curious details about the persons who took part in the work, some of whose names figure in other contexts. It is, however, observable that Eliashib is said to have been high priest at the time of Nehemiah's first visit; and the same is suggested by xiii. 7, whereas in Ezra x. 6 it is suggested that Eliashib's grandson (Neh. xii. 11, 12) was in office thirteen years before Nehemiah came. If the list of high priests in ch. xii. be correct, it is clear that Eliashib could not have been in office in Nehemiah's time; and this fact discredits the historical character of the document, at any rate to a certain extent; for the possibility of Nehemiah, at a great distance from the scene of the events, having mistaken some of the details, can not be quite excluded. The account of the building given in this chapter represents it as more elaborate and national than would be imagined from iii. 33-38.


(2)


Ch. vii. 6-73, a list of the exiles who returned with Zerubbabel. This is a document which Nehemiah says he discovered (vii. 5); and it is embodied in the narrative of Ezra also (Ezra ii.). The difference between the copies is such as can be attributed to the not overstrict ideas of accuracy current in antiquity. Some difficulty is occasioned by the fact that the narrative which deals with the days of Zerubbabel is continued without break into ascene which ostensibly took place in Nehemiah's own time; in other words, though the document is introduced as extraneous, it is not clear at what point it ends. Indeed, the purpose for which Nehemiah says he gathered the people, namely, to discover their genealogies (vii. 5), does not appear to have been realized, but instead the reader is taken into a scene at which the Law is publicly read by Ezra. Here again resort may be had to the hypothesis of carelessness on the author's part, or to that of compilation by an unscientific collector.


(3)


If the Septuagint be believed, ch. ix. contains a discourse delivered by Ezra.


(4)


Ch. x., containing a solemn league and covenant, bearing eighty-four signatures of persons who undertook to observe the Law of Moses and discharge certain duties. The number of signatories is evidently a multiple of the sacred numbers 7 and 12, and the list is headed by Nehemiah himself. Of the signatories some are persons about whom something definite is learnt in either Ezra or Nehemiah (e.g., Sherebiah, Ezra viii. 18; Hanan, Neh. xiii. 13; Kelita, Ezra x. 23), but those called "the heads of the people" appear all to be families, their names occurring to a great extent in the same order as that in which they occur in the list of ch. vii. This mixture of family names with names of individuals excites suspicion; but the unhistorical character of this document, if proved, would greatly mar the credit of the whole book. The framing of such a document at a time of religious revival and excitement has no a priori improbability.



(5)


Ch. xi. contains a list of persons who drew lots to reside at Jerusalem, with notices of the assignment of offices and of the residences of officials. This document agrees very closely in places with one embodied in I Chron. ix.; indeed, both would appear to be adaptations of a register originally found in a "book of the kings of Israel and Judah" (ib. verse 1). It might seem as if the use of the word "king's" in Neh. xi. 23, 24, having been taken over from the older document, had given rise to the charge of which Nehemiah complains in vi. 6, where his enemies accuse him of making himself king; and indeed the arbitrary character of some of his measures (xiii. 25) would in part justify such a charge. If one may judge by the analogy of Mohammedan states, there would be nothing unusual in a provincial governor taking that title. The purpose of the register must have been seriously misunderstood by either Nehemiah or the Chronicler; but it may be inferred with certainty, from the occurrence of the same document in such different forms in the two books, that the compiler of Nehemiah is not identical with the Chronicler.


(6)


Ch. xii. 1-26 gives a list of priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel, carried down, very imperfectly, to Nehemiah's time, or perhaps later. The "book of the chronicles" (verse 23) is cited for parts of it; but this document covers some of the same ground as the last, and it might seem as if both were rough drafts, never finally worked up. It is of course open to the critic to regard the whole work as compiled by Nehemiah, who, where his memory or knowledge failed him, may have inserted these documents, or have ordered his secretaries to insert accounts of scenes. Indeed, the expression "and in all this" (xiii. 6), which reintroduces the personal narrative, implies that the author had before him some matter which he had not himself described.


It is more usual to suppose that Nehemiah's memoirs were utilized by another writer, who did not take the trouble to alter the first person where it occurred; such a supposition involves no impossibility, provided the compiler be not identified with the compiler of Ezra or the compiler of the Chronicles; for the utilization by these authors of documents also incorporated in Nehemiah involves improbabilities calculated to outweigh any arguments that can be urged on the other side. Ben Sira (Sirach [Ecclus.] xlix. 13), in describing Nehemiah's work, evidently refers to the account found in Neh. i.-vii. 1; from the short space that he devotes to each hero no inference can be drawn with regard to the existence of the whole work in his time. The fact of its being contained in his canon would, however, make it probable that it existed in its present form as early as 300 B.C., a date separated by some decades only from the last mentioned in the book, and by less than a century from Nehemiah's first visit to Jerusalem.


From the Second Book of Maccabees it is learned that various legends were current about Nehemiah when it was written, to which the Biblical book contains no allusion. Possibly those writers who reduce the credible element to the smallest amount do not sufficiently take into account the rapidity with which events succeed one another, the fragmentary character of modern knowledge of postexilic Israel, and the general complication of political phenomena.


This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain. The Jewish Encyclopedia was an encyclopedia originally published between 1901 and 1906 by Funk and Wagnalls. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

[edit]

The Chronology of Nehemiah

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In order to determine the timeing of the events of Nehemiah the Persian ruler "Artaxerxes" of Nehemiah and Ezra must first be determined. The book of Nehemiah is more help in this regards because in Nehemiah 5:14 it states that Nehemiah was governor from the 20th to the 32nd year of “Artaxerxes”. This statement helps us eliminate all but three of the Persian rulers because only 3 Persian kings had reigns of 32 or more years. These Persian kings are as follows: Image File history File links Circle-question. ...



Table 6.2

  • Darius I (Hystaspes) ruled 36 years from 521-485 BC
  • Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) ruled 41 years from 464-423 BC
  • Artaxerxes II (Memnon) ruled 46 years form 404-358 BC


At this point it should be mentioned that “Artaxerxes” as is used in the Scripture is not a proper name of any Persian king. It is a title given to them. Some claim it is a title given to them only after they have become established in their rule. Any one of the above three candidates could be considered an “Artaxerxes”. The clues to which historical “Artaxerxes” is meant are found in Nehemiah. Consider the following:



Nehemiah 12:25-26 25 Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates. 26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.


Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon and Akkub all lived in the days of Joiakim, Nehemiah and Ezra. Joiakim was the son of Jeshua (Joshua) the high Priest. This was the same Joshua who came up with Zerubbabel under the decree of Cyrus in 536 BC. In Nehemiah 8, it states that Akkub help explain the law to the people with Ezra and Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 8:6-9)


Akkub and Talmon were chief of the Porters who returned from the Babylonian captivity. That these two were actual men who lived during this time and were not just the names of the head of their familys is clear from the text. In Nehemiah 11:1-19 it names Akkub and Talmon as part of the 172 porters who lived in the city of Jerusalem proper.


Nehemiah 11:19 19 Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, were an hundred seventy and two.


Not only did Akkub and Talmon live during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah but they and their children came up from the Babylonian captivity with Joshua and Zerubbabel according to Ezra 2. This could also be said for Shallum the porter.


Ezra 2:42 42 The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.


Ezra 10:24 24 Of the singers also; Eliashib: and of the porters; Shallum, and Telem, and Uri.


In Ezra 2 it lists the people who came up out of Babylon and return to Jerusalem under the decree of Cyrus. Notice in Ezra 2:42 above it states that children of Shallum the porter came up out of the captivity. Then in Ezra 10:24 it lists Shallum the porter as one of the men who took strange wives at the time of Ezra. What this likely shows is that Shallum and his descendents came up out of the Babylonian captivity and that they were contemporaries with Nehemiah and Ezra. Also note that if the children of Shallum came up with Shallum he was likely well over 30 years old. The same goes for the Akkub and Talmon. This information places Nehemiah’s governorship in the 1st and 2nd generation of the captives who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. Further strengthening this is Nehemiah 12:47.


Nehemiah 12:47 47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.



Nehemiah 12:47 links Zerubbabel and Nehemiah with the action of giving portions to the singers and the porters. Zerubbabel was the governor of Jerusalem under Cyrus starting around the year 536 BC. Nehemiah was governor under one of the “Artaxerxes” of Persia listed in Table 6.2 above. The verse suggests the possibility that these two governors ruled consecutively. This possibility strengthens to the point of a conclusion when this information is compared to the Persian kings list. We know that Nehemiah ruled as governor of Jerusalem during the reign of one of the 3 Persian kings listed above. We also know that Nehemiah was a contemporary of the Porters: Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon and Akkub. We have also established that Talmon and Akkub not only came up out of Babylon in 536 BC but were still alive contemporaneously with Nehemiah and Ezra. Ezra 2 also states that the children of Talmon and Akkub came up out of the Babylonian captivity. If Akkub and Talmon had descendants that came out of the captivity they were likely at the least 30 years of age. Using this information we can now determine which Persian ruler was likely the “Artaxerxes” of Nehemiah. Table 6.3 gives the age of Talmon and Akkub in the 20th year of each of the 3 potential “Artaxerxes”. These calculations are based on the assumption that both Talmon and Akkub as fathers would have been a minimum of 30 years old in 536 BC at the exodus from Babylon.



Table 6.3

  • 20th year of Darius I (Hystaspes) fell in 501 BC ----Talmon & Akkub at least 66 yrs. old.
  • 20th year of Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) fell in 444 BC --- Talmon & Akkub at least 122 yrs. old.
  • 20th year of Artaxerxes II (Memnon) fell in 384 BC--- Talmon & Akkub at least 182 yrs. old.


While it is within the realm of possibility that Talmon and Akkub were 122 years or old it is not likely. From the evidence above Darius (Hystaspes) is the most likely candidate for the “Artaxerxes” of Nehemiah 5:15. Darius (Hystaspes) as the “Artaxerxes” of Nehemiah is the only Persian ruler that congruently fits all the evidence above. This allows for Nehemiah and Zerubbabel to be consecutive governors of Jerusalem. (Neh. 12:47) This allows for Joiakim (son of Joshua the high priest) to be contemporaries with Nehemiah and Ezra. (Neh.12:25-26) This requires no exceptions, special rules or gaps in the chronology of Nehemiah.


Further supporting this conclusion is the following. In Nehemiah 10 there is a list of Priests and Levites who were sealed at the dedication of the wall in Jerusalem sometime around the 20th year of an “Artaxerxes” of Persia. In Nehemiah 12 there is a list of the Priests and Levites who came up with Joshua and Zerubbabel in the 1st year of Cyrus of Persia in 536 BC. Nehemiah 10 shows that in fact many of the men who came up with Joshua and Zerubbabel were still alive in the 20th year of “Artaxerxes”.


Nehemiah 10:1-27 Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3 Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8 Maaziah(?), Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests. 9 And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10 And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodijah, Bani, Beninu. 14 The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani, 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17 Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur, 18 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai, 19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21 Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub, 24 Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek, 25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26 And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.


Nehemiah 12:1-9 Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3 Shechaniah (Shebaniah), Rehum (Harim), Meremoth, 4 Iddo, Ginnetho(Ginnethon), Abijah, 5 Miamin, Maadiah(?), Bilgah, 6 Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah, 7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua. 8 Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, which was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren. {the thanksgiving: that is, the psalms of thanksgiving} 9 Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, were over against them in the watches.


These Priests and Levites who came up with Zerubbabel and Joshua in the 1st year of Cyrus (536 BC) were, according to Nehemiah 12 “chief of the Priests and their brethren”. The Table 6.4 below gives the age of these “chief” of people corresponding to the 20th year of each of the Persian “Artaxerxes” who qualify. Their ages are calculated based on the assumption that they were only 30 years of age in the 1st year of Cyrus at the exodus from Babylon (i.e. 536 BC). As “chief” of the people they were likely 40-60 years of age if not older.


Table 6.4

  • 20th year of Darius I (Hystaspes) fell in 501 BC ----Priests & Levites at least 66 yrs. old.
  • 20th year of Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) fell in 444 BC --- Priests & Levites at least 122 yrs. old.
  • 20th year of Artaxerxes II (Memnon) fell in 384 BC--- Priests & Levites at least 182 yrs. old.


As you can see from Table 6.4, using the most conservative estimation of their age at the exodus from Babylon, the only realistic Persian ruler who would qualify for the 20th year of “Artaxerxes” is Darius I (Hystaspes). All other Persian rulers require the men of this time to have lived to an unrealistic old age. While it is not impossible for men of that time to live into their hundreds it is highly unlikely that a majority of the people listed in both these lists lived well into their hundreds. Also remember that only the most conservative age was used as a basis. King David who lived hundreds of years before these men, talked about the length of mans time on earth.


Psalm 90:9-10 9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.


Based on the above evidence, Nehemiah was likely a contemporary of Ezra, Joiakim (son of Joshua) and Darius I (Hystaspes). That Nehemiah’s governorship lasted from the 20th – 32nd year of Darius I (Hystaspes)(i.e. 501 – 489 BC). This also means that Nehemiah’s governorship closely followed that of Zerubbabel’s governorship thus confirming Neh. 12:47. Further that Nehemiah’s governorship lasted almost to the end of the reign of Darius I. This also places the completion of the wall of Jerusalem in the year 501-500 BC just 14 years after the completion of the 2nd Temple.

[edit]

Ezra

The book of Ezra also provides valuable information regarding the chronology of this time. Ezra 7 gives the genealogy of Ezra all the way back to Aaron the brother of Moses. This genealogical record is helpful in pinpointing the time in which Ezra lived. Ezra 7 states that Ezra’s father was Seraiah. We know from I Chron. 6:3-15 that this Seraiah was one of the high priests. In 2 Kings 25:8-21 we learn that this Seraiah was the last high priest of the 1st Temple. Interestingly we also learn that he was killed sometime around the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. The death of Ezra’s father at least gives us a minimum date for the age of Ezra. The following table gives the age of Ezra based on the 7th year of each of the Persian “Artaxerxes” assuming Ezra was only 1 years old at the death of his father Seraiah.

  • 7th year of Darius I (Hystaspes) in 514 BC Ezra was at least 72 years old.
  • 7th year of Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) in 457 BC Ezra was at least 129 years old.
  • 7th year of Artaxerxes II (Memnon) in 397 BC Ezra was at least 189 years old.

Based on the above calculations Darius I Hystaspes is the only Persian king who legitimately qualifies as the “Artaxerxes” of Ezra 7. Also keep in mind that Ezra was alive 13 years later in the 20th year of "Artaxerxes" at the dedication of the wall in Jerusalem.


In Ezra 6:14-15 we find a interesting statement. It reads as follows:


Ezra 6:14-15 14 And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.



From the chronology related in Ezra 1-6 we know that the only secular rulers who help and encouraged the Jews in building the 2nd Temple were Cyrus and Darius I (Hystaspes). We know that the “Artaxerxes” Cambyses (Ezra 4) did not help but in fact stopped construction on the 2nd Temple. In most English translations of the Ezra 6:14 it states that YHWH (God), Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes gave commandments to build the 2nd Temple. We know from close examination of Ezra chapters 1-6 that in fact only YHWH ,Cyrus and Darius gave actual commandments that helped to build the Temple. Who then is this “Artaxerxes”. We also know for a fact from Ezra 4 that Cambyses was an “Artaxerxes” even though he is not recognized historically as an “Artaxerxes”. The confusion lies in the translation. In the English translation of this verse the word “and” preceding Artaxerxes is the Hebrew letter "vav" which is used as a conjunction or an introductory particle. This letter is connected directly to the title “Artaxerxes”. Here is what the TWOT Hebrew lexicon says concerning this Hebrew letter.


_____________________________________________________________________________


"vav" particle conjunction; noun proper no gender no number no state 0519.0 w" (w¹), w> (w®), W (û) and, so, then, when, now, or, but, that, and many others. (ASV and RSV similar.) The vocalization varies.


This is an inseparable prefix which is used as a conjunction or introductory particle which can usually be translated "and.".


The fundamental use of the prefix is that of a simple conjunction "and," connecting words ("days and years," Gen 1:14), phrases ("and to divide" Gen 1:18), and complete sentences (connecting Gen 2:11 with verse 12). However it is used more often and for a greater variety of constructions than is the English connector "and.".


It is often used at the beginning of sentences, for which reason the KJV begins many sentences with an unexplained "and." This use may be explained as a mild introductory particle and is often translated "now" as in Exo 1:1 where it begins the book (KJV, ASV; the RSV ignores it completely; cf. Gen 3:1; Gen 4:1).


The item following the prefix is not always an additional item, different from that which preceded: "Judah and Jerusalem" (Isa 1:1), pointing out Jerusalem especially as an important and representative part of Judah; "in Ramah, and in his own city" (1Sam 28:3), the two being the same place, hence the translation "even" as explanatory. When the second word specifies the first the construction is called a "hendiadys," i.e., two words with one meaning. For example, "a tent and a dwelling" in 2Sam 7:6 means "a dwelling tent.".


_____________________________________________________________________________



This letter "vav" is translated based on the context of the idea in which it is found. The translators in this case did not base their translation on the context. Had they translated according to context they would not have used the "vav" as a conjunction denoting a separate idea but as a hendiadys i.e. two words with one meaning. According to Ezra 1-6 there were no other separate “Artaxerxes” who gave a commandment that helped build the Temple. Based on the context a more accurate translation of the letter "vav" would read “even” Artaxerxes. This immediately clears up confusion. The verse would better read this way:


” And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius (even) Artaxerxes king of Persia.”


Translated based on the context of the preceding chapters this verse shows that in Ezra 6, Darius I (Hystaspes) is considered an “Artaxerxes” by the author of Ezra. This also confirms the evidence developed above which shows that Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of Darius I (Hystaspes) not “Artaxerxes” I (Longimanus).


This understanding of Ezra clears up the confusion surrounding a supposed "gap" between Ezra 6 and 7. In Ezra 6 it states that the Temple was completed in the 6th year of Darius. Then in Ezra 7 it states that Ezra left for Jerusalem in the 7th year of "Artaxerxes". The "Darius" of Ezra 6 and the "Artaxerxes" of Ezra 7 are one and the same ruler. These titles are only used to emphasize a particular aspect of the Persian ruler "Darius" (Hystaspes).

[edit]

Noadiah

Noadiah is a false prophetess in Nehemiah 6:14 (NASB), never again mentioned in the Tanakh or New Testament. She is identified as an antagonist to Nehemiah discouraging him from rebuilding the Jerusalem defensive wall along with other false prophets. She is mentioned by biblical feminists to show that female prophets were not unknown in ancient Israel. False prophet is a label given to a person who is viewed as illegitimately claiming charismatic authority within a religious group. ... The New American Standard Bible (NASB) an English translation of the Holy Bible. ... John 21:1 Jesus Appears to His Disciples--Alessandro Mantovani: the Vatican, Rome. ... Jerusalem (Hebrew:  , Yerushaláyim or Yerushalaim; Christian Arabic: أورشليم Urushalim, Muslim Arabic:  , al-Quds (the Holy), pronounced il-uds in Jerusalem dialect; official Arabic in Israel: أورشليم القدس, Urshalim-al-Quds Jerusalem the Holy) is the capital and largest city of the State of Israel, and parts, if not all, of the city... Feminist theology is a movement, generally in the Western religious traditions (mostly Christianity and Judaism), to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


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